Query: Philosophy of Law syllabus & diversity

A philosopher has noted to me that his concerted efforts to find a textbook in Philosophy of Law which features the voices of women and minorities has met with much frustration.  He is intending to teach “classical debates” but he does not doubt that diverse points of view have been expressed in criticism of them.  He’s likely right, but diversity, as it turns out, is not a hallmark of the major textbooks, even those edited by women.  So he’s going further afield, using articles and monographs by Martha Minow and Catherine MacKinnon which he previously hasn’t tried.  This is a good start, but he requests any input on readings others may have used in Philosophy of Law classes from many points of view, from women’s and de-centered perspectives.

“Academia’s indentured servants”

It is hard to know which parts of “Academia’s indentured servants” posted on Aljazeera, and written by Sarah Kendzior, to quote because I find the whole thing so quotable.  So here are a couple of important bits that I hope will encourage you to read it all.

On April 8, 2013, the New York Timesreported that 76 percent of American university faculty are adjunct professors – an all-time high. Unlike tenured faculty, whose annual salaries can top $160,000, adjunct professors make an average of $2,700 per course and receive no health care or other benefits.

and

On Twitter, I wondered why so many professors who study injustice ignore the plight of their peers. “They don’t consider us their peers,” the adjuncts wrote back. Academia likes to think of itself as a meritocracy – which it is not – and those who have tenured jobs like to think they deserved them. They probably do – but with hundreds of applications per available position, an awful lot of deserving candidates have defaulted to the adjunct track.

What’s not so great about that Dove video

For starters…

When it comes to the diversity of the main participants: all four are Caucasian, three are blonde with blue eyes, all are thin, and all are young (the oldest appears to be 40). The majority of the non-featured participants are thin, young white women as well. Hmm… probably a little limiting, wouldn’t you say? We see in the video that at least three black women were in fact drawn for the project. Two are briefly shown describing themselves in a negative light (one says she has a fat, round face, and one says she’s getting freckles as she ages). Both women are lighter skinned. A black man is shown as one of the people describing someone else, and he comments that she has “pretty blue eyes”. One Asian woman is briefly shown looking at the completed drawings of herself and you see the back of a black woman’s head; neither are shown speaking. Out of 6:36 minutes of footage, people of color are onscreen for less than 10 seconds.

Then there’s this…

At the end of the experiment, one of the featured participants shares what I find to be the most disturbing quote in the video and what Dove seems to think is the moral of the story as she reflects upon what she’s learned, and how problematic it is that she hasn’t been acknowledging her physical beauty: It’s troubling,” she says as uplifting music swells in the background. “I should be more grateful of my natural beauty. It impacts the choices and the friends we make, the jobs we go out for, they way we treat our children, it impacts everything. It couldn’t be more critical to your happiness.”

Read all about it here.

(Thanks, R!)

New App Lets You Call Out Companies For Sexist Ads

“Commercials that sexualize women are nothing new, but the Miss Representation organization now offers a forum for people to call out the worst offenders. Just this week, a sneak peek of Heidi Klum’s sexy Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s ad showed her seducing a young man with a burger in a Mrs. Robinson-like role. It’s this type of commercial that may find itself targeted on Miss Representation’s #NotBuyingIt app, which is demoed in the video above. After using the hashtag #NotBuyingIt on Twitter to reject sexist ads, the organization behind the Miss Representation documentary has created an app to centralize all those complaints in one place. With a funding campaign in process, the app would allow users to upload sexist media, connect with supporters, and call out specific companies.”

 

Read more here.